Daily Israel Report

Jordan Valley Murder ‘a Gift to the Palestinian People’

Security forces reveal killers plotted to murder former IDF colonel in honor of Muslim holiday; contradicts past reports of criminal motive.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 11/14/2013, 2:15 PM

IDF soldiers conduct a search
IDF soldiers conduct a search
Flash 90

Security forces have revealed the first details of the investigation into the murder of Shraya “Yaya” Ofer. Ofer was murdered in his home in Brosh, in the Jordan Valley; his wife managed to escape the vicious assault.

Two suspects have revealed under questioning that the murder was a deliberate terrorist attack.

Sources in the military caused anger when, in the days after the killing, they suggested Ofer had been murdered in a robbery gone wrong rather than a terrorist attack.

The suspects told investigators that they had come to Brosh two weeks before the killing to gather information in advance of a planned violent theft. However, after realizing that Ofer was a retired senior IDF officer, they decided to kill him.

The murder was to be carried out “as a gift to the Palestinian people and Hamas prisoners, in honor of Eid al-Adha,” they said.

They took time before the attack to strengthen their observance of their Muslim faith and to pray for success, they revealed. The attack itself was carried out on October 10, just days before Eid al-Adha.

The two had planned to take Ofer’s personal weapon and other belongings from the home, but left much of the property behind after Ofer’s wife Monique managed to escape. Her escape led them to flee the scene, discarding the murder weapons on the way.

They considered fleeing to Jordan, but decided to call for help instead. The two called Abed Raba Mahmoud Abed Raba Suwarmeh, 27, a resident of the town of A-Ram in the Jerusalem area. He arrived in his car to take them from the scene of the crime, and even brought them to his house to change clothes.

Suwarmeh has also been arrested in connection to the murder, and has confessed to his involvement.